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New bladeless wind turbine will cut bird deaths

Vortex Bladeless wind turbine

Renewable energy use is rapidly growing across the globe. But as with every innovation, there’s always a downside which in the case of wind turbines is high bird mortality. Somewhere between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from collisions with wind turbines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqcNc9bKlNY

But hope is on the horizon. Vortex Bladeless is a wind ‘turbine’ without blades that was developed by a group of inventors at a Spanish tech startup. With no whirling blades and no moving parts, this successfully crowdfunded new design consists of a conical cylinder fixed vertically with an elastic rod. The cylinder oscillates in the wind, generating electricity through a system of coils and magnets. It features a fixed mast, a power generator and a hollow, lightweight and semi-rigid fiberglass cylinder on top.

Vortex Bladeless graphic

According to the company, this type of wind turbine would cut manufacturing costs 50 percent, operating costs by 51 percent and cut maintenance by 80 percent. These would be relatively noiseless, operating at a frequency unheard by humans. The only downside seems to be that they produce 30 percent less energy than conventional wind turbines. The silver lining? They’re slimmer so you could fit more of these wind turbines in the same space as regular propeller turbines.

Vortex Bladeless wind turbine

A vision of the future of wind turbines

Vortex Bladelsss turbines are nearing small-scale production sometime next year. The passion and drive of this turbine’s inventors combined with their vision to help those without power make this an exciting and potentially industry changing product. Mother Nature must be smiling at the possibilities!

Debra Atlas is a freelance environmental writer and eco-enthusiast based in Northern California, and is the Red Ferret’s Ecological Editor. Debra looks for the upside of eco-change – what’s positive, making a difference. She hunts down those interesting things cooked up by creative minds, especially if they’re strange and eccentric.

Debra Atlas – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • David Evans

    “they produce 30 percent less energy than conventional wind turbines”

    That’s almost meaningless. What conventional wind turbine is being compared here? One of the same height, the same area, the same cost?

  • Wind turbines kill around 300,000 birds annually, house cats kill around 3,000,000,000.
    “Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually — a small fraction compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion deaths from cats, according to the peer-reviewed study by two federal scientists and the environmental consulting firm West Inc.
    “We estimate that on an annual basis, less than 0.1% … of songbird and other small passerine species populations in North America perish from collisions with turbines,” says lead author Wallace Erickson of Wyoming-based West.”
    http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2014/09/state-of-birds-2014-001.jpg

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